Three years ago last week, Barack Obama was sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States on promises of hope and change. For the 2012 election, his campaign has chosen, “We can’t wait,” as its central theme.
We completely agree with President Obama: We can’t wait to elect a Republican this year, and we can’t afford not to.
When President Bush left office, the national debt was $10.6 trillion; now it’s $15.2 trillion. President Obama has contributed almost as much to the deficit in three years as President Bush did in eight. Under President Obama, the federal government has run trillion-dollar or higher budget deficits annually. Ultimately, our generation will foot the bill for this failed spending spree.
The national debt matters because as it increases, it creates more economic uncertainty and reduces our ability to fund responses to unexpected crises. Increased borrowing will also result in a reduction of private investment in public capital, according to CBO. Over time, interest payments on the debt will also increase and that money could have been put to better use elsewhere.
President Obama has forcefully advocated a raise in taxes for high-income earners as the solution to our deficit problems. It isn’t. As Republicans, we believe that the individual, not the government, knows the best use for their money and Americans should keep more of what they are earning.
The tax hike President Obama proposes would generate approximately $700 billion in revenue over the next decade. That would fund the federal budget for just one week at current spending levels, and would barely make a dent in the projected deficit.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats have failed to address the debt issue or control spending. Republicans, meanwhile, understand that spending is the real problem and that cuts have to occur. Even if we did raise taxes like President Obama suggests, there simply aren’t enough wealthy people to balance the budget that way. The longer we delay cutting spending, the harder it will be. Our credit rating was already downgraded last summer because the government failed to adequately reduce spending.
As the College Republicans, we recognize that our generation will feel the effects of the Democrats’ poor fiscal decisions. We will have to pay off the debt while receiving reduced, if any, Social Security and Medicare benefits.
In November, we can elect Democrats, continue spending irresponsibly and pretend that the debt is not a problem. That’s not hope and change, it’s the status quo.
On the other hand, we can vote for a Republican and elect a candidate that will reduce federal spending, reform entitlement programs and restore fiscal sanity to Washington. The choice is clear.
Elizabeth Fleischhauer is a former president of the UM College Republicans. She is a senior majoring in architecture.